(For the country)
11th November 2012
In February 2007, and for the first time, I crossed the threshold of the Chapel of
St. John, Lodge Canongate Kilwinning. I was immediately fascinated by the lay out of
the Lodge room, the furniture, the oil paintngs, the murals, the organ and sundry
artefacts. Having a passing interest in history in general and military matters in particular
my attention soon fell upon a bronze plaque fixed to the north wall of the Chapel.
It is approximately eleven inches wide and twenty two inches long and states,
“To the Memory of the Brethren of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning Who gave their lives
in the Great War 1914 – 1918 “
Memorial Plaque, North Wall St Johns Chapel
How many brethren does it commemorate? What were their names? Where
are they buried or commemorated? With which regiments or ships or units did they
serve? Who were they?
I continued to visit the Lodge and in due course I accepted an invitation to become
an affiliate member. Thereafter I tried, with the assistance of another brother,
to obtain some answers to my questions regarding the memorial plaque. Although
we did make some progress it was incomplete and served only to fuel my curiosity
Then early in 2009, and completely by chance, I came into possession of a five
page booklet issued by the Lodge and entitled “Roll of Honour Lodge Can Kil No.2
1914-1919” and dated “June 28 AD 1919”. I believe it to be the booklet issued at the
service of dedication and unveiling of the plaque. The first page is headed “Pro Patria”
and gives the name, rank and unit of each of the twenty six brethren of the
Lodge who died in the Great War. That was all that I needed to answer my questions
and imaginings. The other four pages listed in a similar manner all two hundred and
sixty four members of the Lodge who served in the Great War and survived although
thirteen of this number were discharged wounded unfit for service.
Lodge “Roll of Honour” Booklet (Front Cover)
It is my intention to tell you something about each of those who died. In some cases the
information available is substantial and in others it is sparse but in every case it is memorable.
In order to whet your interest allow me to give you a summary of some of that information.
They ranged in rank from Private soldiers to Field Marshals on the General Staff. They were
awarded decorations including Mentioned in Dispatches, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour,
Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross and the Victoria Cross.
Of the twenty six, all except two served in the army although one of the soldiers died at
sea. They are buried or commemorated in Azerbaijan, Belgium, England, France, Iraq, Israel,
Scotland, and Turkey. My principal sources were the following:-
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.
National Archives Medals Index Cards.
Sundry web sites.
Contemporaneous newspaper coverage in the “Edinburgh Dispatch” and
I wish to thank the Lodge Secretary Brother Patrick James Givan PM for his invaluable assistance and support throughout this project.
What follows is a biographical note on each of those honoured on the Pro Patria page.
Lodge “Roll of Honour” Booklet (Inside Page 1)
Baird, Barrington Hope Captain 1st Bn. Highland Light Infantry. Killed 21st December
1914. Remembered on Panel 37 & 38 Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
Proposed in the lodge as Lieutenant HLI on 8th November 1905 by Captain E L C Feilden
HLI and seconded by J Inglis RWM and raised 16th March 1906.
Brodie, Walter Lorrain Lieutenant Colonel VC., MC., twice Mentioned in Dispatches.
2nd Bn. Highland Light Infantry. Killed 23rd August 1918 aged 34 years. Buried at xviii
F15 Bienvillers Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
”For conspicuous gallantry near Becelaere (Belgium) on 11th November
1914 in clearing the enemy out of a portion of our trenches which they
had succeeded in occupying. Heading the charge he bayoneted several of
the enemy and thereby relieved a dangerous situation. As a result of Lt.
Brodie’s promptitude 80 of the enemy were killed and 51 taken prisoner.”
Extract from the London Gazette number 29005 dated 12th December 1914.
Proposed as Lieutenant HLI on 31st January 1906 by Captain E L C Feilden HLI and seconded
by Lieutenant L G Pringle MVO. HLI who was killed 29th December 1914, see below. He was
raised 28th March 1906. Son of John Wilson Brodie of 23 Belgrave Crescent, Edinburgh. Husband
of Grace Mary Brodie. As a member of the New Club Edinburgh he is commemorated
on the bronze memorial plaque in the Club.
VC Walter Lorraine Brodie
Carter, William Samuel Sergeant 1st/ 9th Bn. Royal Scots. Killed 12th March 1916 aged 48
years. Buried at 2.A.2 Louez Military Cemetery, Duisans, Pas de Calais, France.
He served for 24 years in the Royal Artillery. For five years he was the Steward of the
Royal Yachting Club at Granton, Edinburgh. On the outbreak of war he re-enlisted in the Royal
Scots. He was suffocated when his dugout collapsed during an attack. He had a son who
served in the trenches and survived. His widow lived at 27 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh and his
mother and sister lived at 145 Granton Road, Edinburgh.
Davidson, George Leslie Captain 4th Bn. Attached 16th Bn. Highland Light Infantry. Killed 2nd
December 1917 aged 27 years. Remembered on Panel 131 Tyne Cot Memorial, West-
Vlaanderen, Belgium. Brother Davidson was working in Canada for an insurance company
when the war broke out. He resigned his post and returned home joining the regiment as a
private. He was commissioned in April 1915 and promoted to Captain in November 1916. He
was wounded in March 1916 and invalided to England for several months before returning to
the front. His parents lived at 115 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh.
Donaldson, Stuart Second Lieutenant 15th Bn. Highland Light Infantry. Killed 28th September
1918. Buried at 3.P.19 White House Cemetery, St. Jean-Les-Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Brother Donaldson was educated at the Royal High School Edinburgh and qualified as a Chartered
Accountant. His parents Mr and Mrs David Donaldson lived at 10 Cadzow Place, Edinburgh.
Gammie, Herbert Forsyth Second Lieutenant 1st Bn.Cameron Highlanders Attached. 7th Bn.
North Staffordshire Regiment. Killed 14th September 1918. Remembered on the Baku Memorial,
Halswelle, Wyndam Captain 1st Bn. Highland Light Infantry. Killed 31st March 1915 aged
32 years. Buried at 3.J.2 Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard, Laventie, Pas de Calais, France.
Awarded Mentioned in Despatches.
Proposed as Lieutenant HLI on 25th October 1905 by Colonel Sir Henry Montague
Hozier, HLI and seconded by Captain E L C Feilden HLI.
Brother Halswelle served in South Africa through the Second Boer War. He died instantly
at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle being shot in the head by a sniper. He was a world
class runner. He held Army, British and World records. He won a silver and bronze medal at
the 1906 Intercalated Games in Athens which were not recognised by the IOC as an Olympic
Games. In the same year at Powderhall, Edinburgh he won the 100, 220, 440 and 880 yards
races in the same afternoon. In 2003 he was admitted to the Scottsh Sports Hall of Fame
where his medals are on display, He was the son of Helen and Keeley Halswelle of
Wylington Hayes, Honiton, Devon.
Halswelle the runner & Captain Halswelle
Hill, James Smith Private 1st/4th Bn. Royal Scots. Killed 15th November 1917 aged 29
years. Buried at B112 Deir El Belah War Cemetery, Israel.
Hope, James Horatio Major 1st Bn. Highland Light Infantry. Killed 18th April 1916 aged 35
years. Buried at 31.F.23 Amara War Cemetery, Iraq Awarded Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
As a member of the New Club Edinburgh he is commemorated on the bronze memorial
plaque in the Club. Brother Hope joined the HLI in 1901.
Izatt, William Hamilton Petty Officer 2nd Class HMS “Queen Mary”. Killed 31st May 1916
aged 37 years. Remembered on panel 15 Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, England. He
was proposed on 10th January 1906 by Brother A.W.Weston and seconded by Brother
HMS Queen Mary was a battle cruiser. She was built in 1912 and weighed 27,000
tons. Her armament consisted of eight 13.5 inch and sixteen 4 inch guns. At the Battle of
Jutland she was attacked at long range, 14,500 yards to 15,800 yards by two German battle
cruisers the Derfflinger and the Seydlitz. After a brief exchange of salvoes she received a
direct hit by a plunging salvo at 1626 hours and blew up. There were only 9 survivors from
a crew of 1275.
Brother Izatt, who was a factory worker, joined the lodge before joining the Royal Navy and
lived at 103 Dumbiedykes Road - a very short walk from the Lodge. His parents lived at 13
Stuart Terrace off Gorgie Road, Edinburgh.
HMS Queen Mary & The Destruction of HMS Queen Mary
Kemp, James Ogilvie Captain 5th Bn. Royal Scots. Died 12th December 1917. Buried at
E204 Crosthwaite (St.Kentigern) Churchyard, Cumberland, England.
Brother Kemp was a Master of Arts. a Bachelor of Law and an Advocate. He was proposed on
24th April 1907 by Sir Robert Cranston and seconded by J Inglis IPM and raised on 19th June
1907. He lived at 67 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. His second son Lieutenant
Charles John Kemp also served in the 5th Bn. Royal Scots and was killed on 25th May 1915
in the Dardanelles. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.
Kitchener, Horatio Herbert Field Marshall 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum. Killed 5th June
1916 aged 65 years. Remembered on the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton, England.
Brother Kitchener was on the cruiser HMS Hampshire on a mission to Russia. West of the
Orkney Islands at 1940 hours and in a force 9 gale the ship hit a mine laid by the German
submarine U-75. He was lost with all his staff and 643 crew who were drowned or
subsequently died of exposure. There were only 12 survivors. U-75 was sunk on the 31st
December 1917. Brother Kitchener was initiated into Freemasonry in 1883 in Lodge La
Concordia No.1226 EC in Cairo, Egypt. He was made an Honorary Member of Lodge Canongate
Kilwinning on 22nd December 1898 just over three months after his victory at the Battle
of Omdurman. His hand written letter accepting the invitation to be made an honorary member
dated 9th December was headed Sirdarieh, Cairo and amended by hand with “at sea”.
Subsequently a letter with a date line 17th March 1899, Omdurman, hand written by his ADC,
acknowledged receipt of the diploma of honorary membership. Both letters are in the lodge
Mackie, Reginald Ernest Captain 4th Bn. Royal Scots. Killed 28th June 1915 aged 30 years.
Remembered on panel 26 to 30 Helles Memorial, Turkey.
Son of Caroline and James Mackie of 16 Greenhill Gardens Edinburgh.
McLean, Charles John Lieutenant 9th Bn. Royal Scots. Killed 20th September1917.
Remembered on panels 11 to 14 and 162 Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Maule, Robert Lieutenant Royal Scots, 5th Bn. Queen’s Edinburgh Rifles. Killed 27th May 1915
aged 31 years. Buried at 1.H.3 Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles, Turkey. Son of Sir Robert Maule of
Morris, Robert Crowe Lieutenant Royal Garrison Artillery, 42nd Siege Battery. Killed 23rd September
1918 aged 29 years. Buried at 25.D.26 Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Son of David Morris of 4 Gillespie Crescent, Edinburgh.
Nisbet, Alexander Corporal 1/1st Lothian and Border Horse. Killed 25th June 1917 aged 26
years. Buried at C.25 Villiers-Faucon Communal Cemetery, Somme, France. Proposed by
Bro.J.A.McWilliam and seconded by Bro.W.Reid he was initiated on 29th October 1913 and
raised 7th January 1914. Bro. Nisbet was a commercial traveller and lived at 6 Brunton Terrace,
Edinburgh. His parents lived at 4 Friars Bank Terrace, Dunbar.
Nisbet, John Andrew Captain 2nd Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers. Killed 28th September 1918 aged
26 years. Buried at 5.G.2 Hooge Crater Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Bro. Nisbet
was proposed by Bro. T.S.Muir RWM and seconded by Bro. Alexander Nisbet, who was killed
25th June 1917, see above, He was initiated 7th March 1914. He was a china merchant and his
parents lived at 33 Hillside Crescent, Edinburgh.
Paterson, James Engineer Lieutenant Commander Royal Naval Reserve, HMS ” Morea”. Died
9th July 1917 aged 40 years. Buried in the West Part of Chadwell St. Mary Churchyard. Thurrock,
Essex, England. Brother Paterson was proposed by John Paterson and seconded by
Robert Bathgate PM on 16th May 1906 and raised 18th July 1906. His parents lived at 3 Falcon
Gardens, Edinburgh. Brother Paterson was born in Musselburgh.
HMS “Morea” gross tonnage 10,890 tons was built in Whiteinch, Glasgow in 1908 for
the P&O line as a passenger liner. On the outbreak of war she was requisitioned as an ambulance
transport and troop ship for carrying the Australian Expeditionary Force to Europe. In
May 1917 it was converted to an armed merchant cruiser carrying seven 6 inch guns. She
served as a convoy escort between Devonport and West Africa. In 1919 she was returned to
the P&O line and resumed service as a passenger liner until being scrapped in 1930. Brother
Paterson was one of four men who “died on board” during the war.
Pringle Leonel Graham MVO., Captain 1st Bn. Highland Light Infantry. Killed 29th December
1914 aged 34 years. Buried at 3.A.24 Lille Southern Cemetery, France. He was proposed on
25th October 1905 by Colonel Sir Henry Montague Hozier, HLI and Captain E L C Feilden HLI
and raised 29th November 1905. His father was Captain James T. Pringle RN. of Torwoodlee,
Reid William Bacon Johnston Captain 3rd Bn. Seaforth Highlanders attached 2nd Bn. Gordon
Highlanders. Died 20th May 1915 aged 34 years. Buried at 297.3 Orwell Parish Churchyard,
Milnathort, Scotland. Son of Mr and Mrs David Reid, Milnathort. Brother Reid was wounded
at La Bassee, France on the 16th May and died in St Thomas’s Hospital, London.
Roberts Frederick Sleigh VC Field Marshall 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar. Died 14th November
1914 aged 82 years. Buried in St Paul’s Cathedral Crypt, London.
He died of pneumonia at St Omer, France while visiting Indian troops in the front line.
He won the Victoria Cross as a Lieutenant in the Bengal Artillery during the Indian Mutiny on
the 2nd January 1858 at Khodagunge when alone he attacked the mutineers and regained a
standard previously captured by them. He was made an honorary member of Lodge Canongate
Kilwinning on 14th November 1900.
Ross, Charles H.D. Private 9th Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). Killed 25th April 1918 aged
34 years. Remembered on panels 68 to 70 Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
His father lived at 41 Bellevue Road, Edinburgh..
Simson, James Robert Lieutenant Colonel Highland Light Infantry attached 5th Bn. King’s
Own Scottish Borderers. Died 9th November 1917 aged 37 years. Buried at HH184 Dean or
Western Cemetery, Edinburgh. He was wounded at Gallipoli in April 1917 and died of his
wounds in London.
He was proposed on 10th January 1906 by Captain E L C Feilden HLI and seconded by
Captain L G Pringle MVO HLI who was killed on 29th December 1914, see above. Brother
Simson was raised on 26th December 1906. He held the Distinguished Service Order.
Simpson's grave in Edinburgh
Stewart, Hugh J. Captain 12th Bn. Highland Light Infantry. Killed 25th March 1918 aged 27
years. Buried at 2C32, Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt, France. Husband of Eleanor
Mason Stewart of 5 Queensborough Gardens, Hyndland, Glasgow.
Wallace, William Second Lieutenant 54th Bn.Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed 29th September
1916. Remembered on Pier and Face 5C and 12C of the Thiepval Memorial,
Let us remember them.
George M Docherty IPM
Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No.2